Apprenticeships in the News


Apprenticeships in the News

Hospitality apprentice

Apprenticeships are on the rise in the UK following country-wide pledges from many companies in the hospitality industry. With young people considering the alternative options to university more seriously; it seems the opportune moment for an increase of placements. This month has seen what appear to be great advances for the schemes, but there have been arguments that it is not all good news.

The National Apprenticeship Week received a huge amount of support and response from not only the hospitality industry and BHA, but the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Johnson helped the apprentices of Premier Inn in Leicester Square to cook up breakfast before announcing the British Hospitality Association's pledge to create 7000 new hospitality and catering apprenticeships by the end of 2016.

More good news for the industry came with George Osborne's budgetary promise; funding for apprenticeships will be boosted this year to £170 million, in order to meet the demand for the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) scheme. This was backed by the Business Secretary Vince Cable, who said that it should be the new norm for young people to either choose to go to university or begin an apprenticeship.

However, there is evidently room for improvement and areas that need further support. A conference during the National Apprenticeship Week highlighted that there is still a surprising lack of career advice in schools regarding apprenticeships; this is despite the increase in school leavers considering alternatives to a university education. Around 100 students were given the opportunity to voice their opinions on the provision of career advice in their schools; they raised their concerns that university was still being considered the preferable route, regardless of their individual skills and aims.

Queries have also been raised about the proposed changes in the funding of the schemes, with the government considering creating bank accounts for each participating business; with both the business and the government paying in to create a fund for the use of employing apprentices. Critics are concerned it will create an unnecessary amount of additional paperwork and bureaucracy that will deter smaller businesses and complicate the system.

Despite this, more apprenticeships are still being created and the hospitality industry is playing a key part. Companies such as Orchid Group and Mitchell and Butlers have demonstrated their support, with Orchid Apprenticeships receiving a record amount of enrolments for their scheme and Mitchell and Butlers pledging to create 1,000 new roles.

The question is; what lies ahead? Although the funding and the support from the government has increased, will this be enough without schools fully backing the apprenticeship initiative? Will the funding encourage more businesses to consider the opportunity and will we succeed in generating the predicted £4bn growth to the economy through the increase of apprentices?

If you are interested in taking on apprentices, or would like more information, please visit Apprentice 1st, or our GEMacademy pages.

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